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Chicken-Fried News: Mixed messages




The owners of Catoosa’s I Don’t Care Bar and Grill appear unsympathetic to nationally organized immigrant protests.

The local eatery located about 20 minutes east of Tulsa employed several immigrant line cooks and dishwashers — many of whom decided to join in on the national protest A Day Without Immigrants, a planned day in which immigrant workers and those who support their rights to live and work in America boycotted their day jobs in protest of President Donald Trump’s immigration reform policies.

Some employers weren’t as supportive of Day Without Immigrant boycotts as others. One Oklahoma business made national news.

“You and your family are fired,” one text read from I Don’t Care restaurant owner Bill McNally to a (now former) employee, according to Tulsa news station KTUL. “I hope you enjoyed your day off, and you can enjoy many more. Love you.”

Ouch. McNally said he supports the rights of immigrants but was not told about the planned protest and has a zero-tolerance policy about no-shows.

“I’m on their side, but we have rules at I Don’t Care Bar and Grill,” he said. “If you’re going to be late, call in. If you’re not coming to work, call us. That’s the American way.”

Most other businesses, though, embraced the American way of tolerance and understanding.

Many Oklahoma City businesses closed for the day in a show of solidarity. Raul Ramos, a Peruvian immigrant turned naturalized United States citizen and owner of two Naylamp Peruvian Restaurants, told he gladly closed his stores in support of the cause. Ramos said he believes undocumented immigrants need to come out of the shadows and take a stand.

“[Undocumented immigrants] are friends of ours and our neighbors,” he said. “Most came here to work hard, to pursue a dream to create a better future for themselves and their families. We need to give these guys a chance.”

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